Travers Smith has responded to pressure from clients to provide US securities advice by hiring its first US-qualified partner.
In a significant move for a firm that has previously only provided English law advice, Travers has hired Clifford Chance Milan-based equity capital markets partner Charles Casassa. A partner with the magic circle firm since 2008, Casassa will relocate to London to start at his new firm next month.
Travers corporate chief Chris Hale said the move to bring in the firm’s first foreign-qualified lawyer since it closed its German office four years ago was “a defensive one” prompted by calls from US corporate clients that wanted a full-service capital markets offering.
Hale added: “An increasing number of IPOs and secondary issues have a US law impact. Until now we’ve always teamed up with US firms.
“What we’ve been told by a number of clients is that, if we want to get instructions in the future, we need an in-house US disclosure team. We’re not seeking to provide US law across the piece.”
Previously Travers has partnered with a number of firms in the US, including Paul Weiss and Sidley Austin.
Senior partner Chris Carroll has been visiting the firm’s US best friends network to explain the move.